Radio great David Morrow – widely regarded as Australia's most versatile sports broadcaster – has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Colleague and close friend Ray Hadley broke the sad and shocking news during his morning show on Sydney's 2GB on Friday.
Morrow, 71, spent the majority of his career at the ABC, covering rugby league, racing and cricket for close to 50 years before switching to commercial radio and heading up 2GB's Continuous Call team and match day coverage. He has called countless grand finals, Origins, Test matches in both league and cricket, eight Olympic games and six Commonwealth Games, earning a place in the Sydney Cricket Ground's Media Hall of Honour in 2023.
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NSW Sports Minister Steve Camper called 2GB to surprise Morrow – nicknamed "Thirsty" due to his love of beer and a party – live on air. “You’re kidding,” Morrow said.
"Steve, thank you very much, you’ve blown me away. This is the biggest honour I’ve had in my broadcasting career."
Morrow has stepped down from his radio commitments as he undergoes treatment. "David and the family decided they wanted me to break the news to not just our media colleagues but the millions of listeners David has connected with in a career that’s lasted more than 45 years," Hadley said.
"Thirsty, as he’s widely known, has started radiation and chemotherapy treatment. I just want to share with everyone how much and why I love this fellow broadcaster so much. He’s a man of some substance. It goes without saying he’s Australia’s most versatile sports broadcaster.
"About a month ago, David advised his mates on the Continuous Call Team and management of Nine Radio that he would be retiring from duties immediately. We were all shocked to find out after a couple of serious incidents during the off-season that David had been diagnosed with brain cancer."
Ryan Eckford and Mark Levy shocked by David Morrow's cancer diagnosis
Another 2GB colleague, Mark Levy, added: "David Morrow is the most versatile sports commentator in Australia. To work alongside, learn and marvel at the ability of this incredible man is something I’ll cherish forever. Please spare a thought for Davey as confronts his current health battle. We all love ya Thirsty!!!"
In an era where sports commentators are heavily scrutinised, Morrow has few critics. Supporter Ryan Eckford posted on X: "That is just shocking news. David Morrow is one of the greatest radio sports commentators in history in my opinion, and hearing this news this morning is devastating." Morrow, whose career began in 1971, was awarded an OAM in 2005 for services to the community, sport and sports broadcasting.
David Morrow is the most versatile sports commentator in Australia.
To work alongside, learn and marvel at the ability of this incredible man is something I’ll cherish forever.
Please spare a thought for Davey as confronts his current health battle.
We all love ya Thirsty!!! pic.twitter.com/DF1R8AitZr
— Mark Levy (@marklevy2gb) February 8, 2024
David Morrow alongside Warren Boland was the voice on abc🏉tv for many years & it always was a pleasure to listen to his commentary, keeping it 💯 football with non of the modern day BS.
Wishing you all the best David, respect legend.🙏
— TheSH🥷DOW 2024 (@TheNRLSHADOW) February 8, 2024
That is just shocking news Mark! David Morrow is one of the greatest radio sports commentators in history in my opinion, and hearing this news this morning is devastating! 😢 I send my absolute best wishes to David and his family at this awful time! ❤️ Get well soon David! ❤️🙏
— Ryan Eckford (@RyanEckford) February 8, 2024
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